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Ghost hunt in Tupper Lake

September 28, 2011
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - A Tupper Lake home is set to be featured in a documentary on ghost hunting.

Patty Hathaway believes her house at 13 McLaughlin Ave. is haunted. Doors and drawers close and open without people touching them, she constantly hears unexplained noises, and she has what she calls a game with one of the "entities" in which it moves a porcelain shoe she has on display, she rights it, then the ghost tips it again.

She says she has even seen a man hanging from the loft of her garage, who she said was in old-fashioned clothing.

Article Photos

Donny Deragon, Brad Rousell and Nate Lashomb stand in front of Patty Hathaway’s McLaughlin Avenue home in Tupper Lake, where they did a ghost hunt for a new documentary called “Weird Vibes,” set to be released this weekend.
(Photo provided)

"My granddaughter has seen a young boy," Hathaway said in a phone interview Monday. "She thinks it's her uncle. I don't tell her it's a ghost."

So she contacted the St. Lawrence Association of Paranormal Science.

"I wanted to find out if I was really out of my mind, for one thing, and I wanted to try and pinpoint who was actually there," Hathaway said.

Donny Deragon and Nate Lashomb, the two heads of SLAPS, did two investigations at the house and had some significant findings, so when Malone director Brad Rousell wanted to film a documentary on the group, they chose Hathaway's house as one of the two to feature in it. The other house is in Massena.

When they did a ghost hunt at Hathaway's house about a month ago for the documentary, they were joined by Brian Harnois, who used to be on the Syfy channel's "Ghost Hunters." Deragon said it was interesting because he and his friends got into ghost hunting in part through watching the show.

"It was a really cool experience," Deragon said. "I'm glad we got to do it."

He said it turned out that much of what SLAPS does in an investigation is similar to Harnois' method. The group uses a variety of equipment, including a DVR system, voice recorders, a whole bunch of cameras and a K2 meter, which measures electromagnetic fields. They'll talk to the homeowners, find out what they've been hearing and seeing, then go into the home, set up all the equipment and document what, if anything, goes on throughout a night.

"It's not all what you see on TV, that's for sure," Deragon said. "A lot more goes into it. When they show you something on TV, they just show you the good parts, and if they don't find anything, they don't put it on."

In general, Deragon said, they try to find a natural cause for any complaints the owner has. It's only when they discount any possible natural causes that they turn to the supernatural.

"We really take like a scientific approach towards it," Deragon said.

Deragon wouldn't say much about what actually happened during the investigation of Hathaway's house while they were filming the documentary, because he wants to make sure people watch it, but he said it was a fruitful hunt.

"We had a lot of cool experiences there that haven't happened to us before," Deragon said.

Through research, they found out that a teenage boy with a troubled life shot himself in the home in 1980, and Hathaway believes that's the boy her granddaughter has seen.

"We wanted to do the documentary to show kids that are troubled that are thinking of committing suicide that it's not a better way out," Hathaway said. "You're more or less stuck."

She also believes that there are several other entities in the house, including an old man - or there were before her brother-in-law came in, smoked the house with sage and sea salt, placed crystals around the home and invited the ghosts to leave.

Hathaway said she doesn't mind her house being haunted as long as it remains the harmless, sometimes whimsical presence it's been so far. If it becomes negative or malicious, she said she'll have her brother-in-law come and do a more thorough job of cleansing the house.

"I'm so used to it," Hathaway said. "I've lived there for 13 years."

Hathaway said she's nervous but excited to see the documentary. So far she's only seen the trailer on SLAPS' website.

She's interested to see what the response is to the DVD and how many people buy it. She said she thinks more people are getting interested in, or at least becoming more accepting of, the paranormal.

"Brad and Nate and Donny are fantastic guys," Hathaway said. "They're very easy to work with. They're wonderful. There's not enough words I can say about them. They're a very awesome, professional group."

The documentary is called "Weird Vibes," and it's set to be released this weekend at a paranormal convention at Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh.

Speakers are set to present at the convention on a variety of topics, including demons, ghosts, the Champy lake monster, UFOs, Bigfoot and Mothman. For more information on the third annual Northern New York Paranormal EXPO, go to

Deragon, who manages a bank for a living, started SLAPS with a few friends about four years ago, but it wasn't until Lashomb, who Deragon calls a techie, joined the group that it started to grow and evolve into what it is today.

They get calls frequently from people who want them to investigate their homes, and they end up doing about two to three hunts a month. They're based in Massena, but they've done investigations from Madrid, N.Y., to Syracuse.

For more information on SLAPS or to pre-order the DVD, go to



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